At the World Wide Web Foundation’s second annual conference, Tim Berners-Lee, credited as the founder of the internet, vehemently exclaimed that internet surveillance is a threat to democracy, that such a practice does not comply with what democracy really means, and is an utter defiance of public rights.
The World Wide Web Foundation’s annual conference analyses how internet has contributed to economic, political, social, and human rights platforms.
About the internet’s positive role in the world, Tim Berners-Lee said the following: “One of the most encouraging findings of this year’s Web Index is how the web and social media are increasingly spurring people to organise, take action and try to expose wrongdoing in every region of the world.”
In the analysis of 81 countries, a total of 80 countries have had a positive impact from the internet in the form of wide awareness of issues plaguing those countries. However, due to internet surveillance practiced by countries, and in light of the explosive revelations made by Edward Snowden, Tim Berners-Lee said the following:
“Some governments are threatened by this, and a growing tide of surveillance and censorship now threatens the future of democracy. Bold steps are needed now to protect our fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of opinion and association online.”
According to common opinion, developing countries are more prone to internet surveillance and censorship, but due to Edward Snowden’s revelations, World Wide Web claimed that developed countries, like USA, are more likely to indulge in unlawful spying that not only remains within there own borders, but reach much farther across foreign borders.
The report of World Wide Web Foundation claims that China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Pakistan are the biggest culprits of censoring contents that threaten their governments, and have insufficient measures against internet surveillance.
Surprisingly, Britain, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India were ranked beside Yemen, Mali and Kenya for having poor measures against government’s internet spying.
Although, what Tim Berners-Lee believes internet to be like is right, but the ground-realities that only governments know make internet surveillance a viable measure.